Breaking down MMP

As New Zealand sits and waits while the next government are decided, there has been some discussion about our electoral system MMP and whether or not we should still abide by it.

So what is MMP?

MMP (Mixed member proportional representation) is the electoral system in New Zealand from 1996. It is a mixed system where some legislators are elected in single-member districts while others are elected from the party list.

It is a mixed system where some legislators are elected in single-member districts while others are elected from the party list. This means that voters normally cast 2 votes on the election day instead of one (for example one for the party they like and another for their prefered district MP).

This system is highly proportional between votes and allocated seats, allowing for more fair representation.

What did New Zealand have before? 

Before MMP New Zealand used the First Past the Post system (FPP) which is still used in countries such as America.

First Past the Post means that whichever party wins the most seats becomes the government. This tends to favour larger parties such as National and Labour but makes it harder for smaller parties.

So why is this relevant? 

MMP has been brought to the surface again through the 2017 election results. Since neither party gained enough seats to form a government, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has become the “Kingmaker” of the election and will (likely) decide who will become the next Prime minister and ruling party.

Some people claim this power has been given to him through our use MMP because if we still abided by First Past the Post the country would have a defined answer by now. Also, the dominant parties Nationa

Also, the dominant parties (National and Labour) now have to offer “sweeteners” to Peters through negotiations in order to gain his support. These sweeteners include alterations and dilutions to policy ideas and positional perks (such as desired roles) for himself and other party members.

By doing this, National and Labour have to compromise on things they are committed to during their campaigns and consequently risk losing support from those who voted for them.

 

 

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